Pope elevates 13 new cardinals then puts them in their place

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Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church (Photo: Jeon Han / CC BY-SA 2.0)

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis has raised 13 new cardinals to the highest rank in the Catholic hierarchy during a formal ceremony marked from beginning to end by the coronavirus pandemic. But he immediately warned them against using their new titles for corrupt ends.

Two new “princes” of the church from Brunei and the Philippines didn’t make it to Rome because of COVID-19 travel restrictions.

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Throughout Saturday’s socially distanced ceremony in a nearly empty St. Peter’s Basilica, cardinals new and old wore protective masks.

Most removed their face coverings when they approached a maskless Francis to receive their red hats, but the first African-American to become a cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church kept his on.